UCLA's controversial plan to end state funding for the main MBA program at its management school and instead support it with tuition and donations has hit a significant roadblock that will at least delay the proposal.
A powerful committee of the UC system's faculty senate recently voted to suspend its review of the Anderson School of Management's plan and raised questions about the proposal's budget, its effect on educational quality and affordability for students, and possible undue influence by donors. The panel also said that current UC rules for starting self-supporting programs would not allow such a change for a pre-existing, full-time master's degree in business administration.
UC officials said it was unclear what the next step would be. Some said UC President Mark G. Yudof could in theory still approve the funding change but that he was unlikely to do so without faculty support.
UCLA leaders have said the proposed change is the best way for the program to thrive in an era of state budget cuts and would allow it to become more innovative. But critics described it as a move toward privatization of public higher education.
Those divisions were evident in June when UCLA's faculty senate leadership voted 53 to 46, with three abstentions, in favor of the change.